Restraint and Seclusion in Our Public Schools | Connecticut Public Radio

Restraint and Seclusion in Our Public Schools

Jul 29, 2014

Restraint and seclusion is a legal, albeit controversial, practice in our nation's public schools. Students -- often those with disabilities -- can be restrained and secluded against their will. This can result, and has resulted on many occasions, in injury to the student. Nationwide, there are 20 known cases of death because of restraint or seclusion in the past two decades.

While advocates say there are some circumstances that call for restraint and seclusion, critics both in-state and nationally say the techniques are used too liberally.

Each state has its own laws on the matter, and its own outcomes. Connecticut schools, for instance, reported 378 holds or isolations that resulted in injuries to children in the 2013 school year. Of those, ten were classified as "serious."

This hour, we talk with experts and educators to find out more about the role of restraint and seclusion in our nation's public school system, and see how it's being carried out here in Connecticut.


  • Sarah Eagan - Connecticut's Child Advocate
  • Heather Vogell - ProPublica reporter
  • Bryan Klimkiewicz - Assistant Superintendent of Student Services, Plainfield Public Schools